Christbaumgebach (Christmas Tree Biscuits) and Cookie
This is a decorating cookie called Christbaumgebach, or "Christmas Tree Biscuit"
which is meant to be hung on a tree, wreath or greens. Although the baked
cookies are edible and their flavor really quite nice, they are really meant to
be ornaments and thus are a challenge for any teeth (until you soak them in a
bit of tea or cocoa.)
The recipe is very simple, so it's one kids can easily put together. If you've
ever made pasta from scratch before, you'll note a similarity in ingredients,
although this recipe contains the addition of sugar. You put it together the
same way, too.
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
Blend the dry ingredients together and put them in a pile on a surface you can
knead on. Make a well in the center and break in the eggs. With floured hands,
slowly pull the flour mixture into the eggs and begin to mix and knead it all
together. You'll find that you'll need to keep dusting the dough and your hands
with flour to keep it from sticking as you knead. Knead the dough thoroughly and
cover with a damp towel to let it relax for at least 15 minutes.
When you're ready to roll out the dough, make sure the table is well floured, as
well as your rolling pin. Roll the dough out until it's about 1/8-inch in
You can cut the dough into any shape you want. Use cookie cutters or create
something intricate with a knife or pair of scissors. Remember to dust with
flour if there's a suggestion of sticking. And if children are doing this, keep
a close eye on the operation.
While the children make shapes, you can put together some special cookie paint
for them which gets painted on before the cookies go in the oven. The colors
come through beautifully clear. (In fact, it's great for decorating cookies that
you plan to eat.)
yolks of 2 eggs
1 teaspoon water
small paint brushes
In a small bowl, beat the yolks together with a teaspoon of water. Divide this
mixture into tiny cups (cordial glasses do nicely) and add a couple of drops of
food coloring to each.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
After the biscuits are cut out, place them on a greased cookie sheet. Give the
children small paint brushes and let them color away. This painting can be quite
intricate and elegant if the painters have the inclination and patience.
Before the cookies go in the oven, take a nail and poke a depression in the top
of each cookie where you'd like to run thread or a piece of yarn. Bake them for
10 to 12 minutes, or until they're just barely coloring.
Remove them from the oven when they're done, and as soon as you can handle them
without burning yourself, take the nail again and run it all the way through the
depression you made before they went in the oven.
When the cookies are completely cool, run yarn or string through the nail hole
and hang them wherever you wish.
Source: King Arthur